K. Mizutani - Transcend Sideways

  | CD

K. Mizutani-Transcend Sideways A former member of the extreme Japanese noise outfit Merzbow, it comes as no surprise that the transcendence on this solo release by Kiyoshi Mizutani is of the less peaceful and tranquil kind. Transcend Sideways consists of four extended pieces of intense sonic experimentation, and while each track to some degree utilizes noise as a compositional element, they are all quite unique and different from each other. The CD has been released by Artware in a compellingly designed brown fold-out sleeve, decorated with Japanese calligraphy and ink drawings.

At 19 minutes, "Any Time The Wind Is In Everywhere" is not only the longest piece on Transcend Sideways, it is also the harshest and most minimalist. An almost completely linear stream of splintering interference runs through the entire piece, with a strange clacking sound cutting through the saturated band of noise at odd intervals. At first the experience of listening to the piece is disconcerting and almost painful, yet, as the ear accustoms itself to the steady, rushing waves of pure sound, this initial discomfort vanes, and the subtle nuances and variations in the piece come forward. Eventually, "Any Time The Wind Is In Everywhere" establishes a sense of peace, and only the occasional wooden clacks stand out from the surface of the piece, like some mysterious and undecipherable aural punctum. The final impression is not unlike that of staring intensely at a seemingly blank wall, and, to one's own surprise, finding the anonymous surface filled with minute details, telling all kinds of stories.

The next piece "Haraitontoh" is profoundly different, featuring a wealth of sounds and a rather complex and intricate structure. The piece is really assembled from a series of brief montages of radio tunings, sampled children's' voices, static hiss, and voice recordings played in reverse. The individual segments are separated by pauses of absolute silence, and, again, it is these moments of nothingness that complete the piece. After the tense montages of aural overload, the complete absence of sound, makes the listener strain to hear, and just as there is a world to hear in a solid wall of noise, so too each silence contains a hidden symphony.

"Transcend Sideways" returns to the sonic landscape of "Any Time The Wind Nature Is In Everywhere." The interference in this case is of a very high frequency, and the event breaking through the haze is the occasional sound as of a wheel spinning. At certain points it also appears that there are voices of children yelling buried deep in the mix, but, if so, they are so distant and vague as to be non-existent.

A biblical quote is reproduced on the inside of the sleeve: The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the spirit (John 3.8). The closing piece of the CD would seem to be Mizutani's reflection on these words. "Spirit Of The Air" consists of two sounds weaving in and out amongst each other for close to ten minutes -- a high-pitched, metallic singing, and some kind of rustling or rattling. No set pattern ever emerges in the interplay between these two sounds; they are as if moved or manipulated by invisible hands....or, the always unpredictable wind.

[ Discography ] 
Label: Artware | Item Code: ARTW 019 | Country: Japan | Year: 1997 | Genre: Experimental

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